Class Notes: 11/29/2015
Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; The doctrine of witnessing part 32
In our study of the doctrine of witnessing Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; we are examining the doctrines that undergird the gospel so that we can understand how and why it is God alone who made it possible for our so great salvation exclusively by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Eph 2:8-9;
Last time we noted that God's Word clearly explains pre-salvation grace. In common grace the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit makes the Gospel understandable. God the Father issues the divine invitation or call to believe in Christ. Then in efficacious grace God the Holy Spirit makes the faith of the spiritually dead person effective for eternal salvation.
Eph 1:13; "in whom also, when you heard (common grace) the message of truth, the Gospel of your salvation (content of common grace); in whom also, when you believed (efficacious grace), then you were sealed by means of the Spirit." Sealing is the guarantee of the ministry of the Holy Spirit's work in common and efficacious grace.
Sealing is the guarantee that at the moment of faith in Christ, you have eternal salvation. The reason for this is that the Holy Spirit has previously guaranteed this fact to you by making the Gospel clear, and by taking your spiritually dead faith and making it effective for salvation.
Sealing means eternal security. You cannot reverse the work of God at salvation by any failure on your part, or by anything you do. You cannot change what God has wrought! That's grace. It is the quintessence of human arrogance to think that you can do something to lose your salvation. Neither you nor God can cancel your salvation. The phrase "shall never perish" in John 3:16 refers to the believer's eternal security.
Sealing is the guarantee that after salvation you possess your very own portfolio of invisible assets, beginning with escrow blessings
The Spirit's ministry of common grace continues into the believer's post salvation spiritual life. Under common grace the Holy Spirit acts as a human spirit for the comprehension of the Gospel. This ministry continues into the spiritual life as the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
In regeneration the Holy Spirit creates a human spirit for the immediate imputation of eternal life at salvation, Titus 3:5;
God's Word emphasizes the difference between man's soul and spirit. Heb 4:12; "The word of God is alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing between the soul and the spirit..."
The unbeliever is dichotomous, 1Cor 2:14; Jude 19. The believer is trichotomous, Matt 26:41;1Thes 5:23; Philemon 25; Heb 4:12;
The spiritually dead person can understand certain academic subjects and language but they cannot accurately understand anything about God, who and what He is and what He has done for mankind and how.
After salvation, the Holy Spirit teaches our human spirit, Rom 8:16; The teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit to the human spirit is an extension of common grace.
This is why it is important to keep on being filled with the Spirit after you have believed in Christ because without the filling ministry of God the Holy Spirit you cannot learn anything. The filling ministry of the Spirit is the how the Holy Spirit enables the believer to understand what He is teaching.
When Bible doctrine is communicated, only residence and function under the enabling power of the Holy Spirit teaches that doctrine under operation Z, John 14:26; John 16:12-16; 1Cor 2:1-5; 1John 2:27;
All of the Bible doctrine that we learn is a product of God's grace and is courtesy of God the Holy Spirit.
1Cor 2:12; "For we have not received the world's frame of reference, but the human spirit from God, that we might know the things (our portfolio) which have been graciously given to us by God."
This means that the entire realm of the mystery doctrine is available for us to learn, and after salvation we are to master it and grow in grace by deploying it.
The last two words of 1Cor 2:12; are the Greek preposition "hupo" plus ablative of agency from "Theos" that is translated "by God." The ablative of agency means that were it not for the Holy Spirit, we would never understand these things. It means that all absolute truth comes exclusively from eternal infinite God.
This is why the ministry of God is required every time that God's Word is communicated.
Before salvation the status of spiritual brain death requires the ministry of the Holy Spirit in common and efficacious grace. This does not conflict with the fact that human volition is also required.
Hearing the Gospel is an act of non-meritorious positive volition compatible with God's grace. Believing in Jesus Christ is an act of non-meritorious positive volition compatible with God's grace.
In this way, human responsibility hears the Gospel and believes in Jesus Christ. Yet this does not disregard the fact that apart from the ministry of the Holy Spirit it is impossible to be saved.
Rom 10:14; "How shall they believe in Him, concerning whom they have not heard?" Rom 10:17; "So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."
Believing refers to efficacious grace. Hearing refers to common grace. For the Gospel to be accurate it must be from God's Word.
Salvation is exclusively for those who are alive physically on planet earth. There is no eternal salvation offered to those who are physically dead.
Jesus Christ was alive on the cross when He was judged for our sins. As along as a person is alive physically, he can be saved. However, after physical death there is no offer of salvation.
Therefore, common and efficacious grace applies only to those who are alive on planet earth in the status of spiritual death.
Efficacious grace is a theological term for the work of God the Holy Spirit in making effectual personal faith in Jesus Christ.
Efficacious grace is an act of God the Holy Spirit solely dependent on His omnipotence for execution.
Efficacious grace is an instant act of God the Holy Spirit whereby faith in Jesus Christ from a spiritually dead person is made effective for salvation.
Efficacious grace is the result of common grace whereby God the Holy Spirit makes the Gospel understandable.
Sufficient grace is only given to those who believe in Jesus Christ so when Gospel message that is disclosed in common grace is rejected, efficacious grace is not provided.
Because God uses believers as His channel for the communication of the Gospel information the believer's life is also a witness. This makes believers ambassadors for Christ so the believer's effectiveness in witnessing is affected by their lifestyle.
This is why believers are to conduct their life in compliance with mandates of God's Word under the filling ministry of God the Holy Spirit; 2Cor 3:3; 1Pet 3:15-17; NET. This is where the believer's conscience comes into view because the conscience is where the norms and standards for the regulation of one's life are programmed.
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